

Multilevel categorical data 

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adel powell posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011  4:05 pm



Hi, I am trying to generate multilevel categorical data. I am trying to study various aspect of that type of data. I am having problems. My data is ordinal but nonnormal. I am getting this error: *** ERROR in MODEL command Variances for categorical outcomes are not allowed on the within level. Variance given for: Y1 Can Mplus not do multilevel modeling on categorical noncontinuous data? I was thinking Mplus can treat the data like Logistical multilevel modeling where the within error is estimated by pie/3. I forgot the exact figure? 


Yes, Mplus can do this. But with categorical outcomes there is not a free withinlevel variance parameter so you can't estimate/mention that in the MODEL command, which is what the error message complains about. As you say, with logit link the residual variance is pisquare/3, that is, a fixed quantity, not a free parameter. Mplus uses that fixed quantity implicitly. 

Cecily Na posted on Friday, March 01, 2013  8:29 am



Hi Linda and Bengt, I have a categorical outcome (three levels) in a twolevel model. The model syntax is as following, (A, B are predictors at the within level, C is the categorical outcome, and D is the predictor at the between level). Is the following syntax correct? Why is the model syntax for categorical outcomes the same as for continuous outcomes? %Within% C ON A B; %Between% C ON D; In a multilevel model for continuous outcome, the intercept or slope of the within level outcome is modeled as random and treated as a latent factor at the between level. For categorical outcome, what is modeled as random? Thanks a lot! 


The model you specify above is a random intercept model both for a continuous or categorical outcome. See Example 9.3 where one outcome is continuous and one outcome is categorical. 

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